[Marxism] Bolton: Israel 'will attack Iran' before new US president in office, especially if it's Obama
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Wed Jun 25 16:31:34 MDT 2008
Israel can only attack Iran if it has firm guarantees that the US will join
if Iran retaliates. Perhaps a naval blockade, called for in a
Democratic-spurred resolution currently rolling toward an essentially
unchallenged victory in Congress, would provide the ideal background for
Bolton's warning that an attack on Iran under Bush is more likely if Obama
wins is an interesting attempt to blackmail the voters. Support McCain or
we WILL embroil you in another war.
At any rate, I think it is becoming necessary to assume that the worst is
coming until the possibility has been clearly pushed back.
This could be an attempt to blackmail almost everybody in the world into
doing whatever Washington wants re Iran and Iraq in order to head off an
attack. But the possibility that this insanity will happen, which arises out
of the problems of the imperialist system and not the possibly clouded
mental state of one man or a few people, has to be our starting point.
Israel 'will attack Iran' before new US president sworn in, John Bolton
By Toby Harnden in Washington
Last updated: 9:50 AM BST 24/06/2008
John Bolton, the former American ambassador to the United Nations, has
predicted that Israel could attack Iran after the November presidential
election but before George W Bush's successor is sworn in.
The Arab world would be "pleased" by Israeli strikes against Iranian nuclear
facilities, he said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.
"It [the reaction] will be positive privately. I think there'll be public
denunciations but no action," he said.
Mr Bolton, an unflinching hawk who proposes military action to stop Iran
developing nuclear weapons, bemoaned what he sees as a lack of will by the
Bush administration to itself contemplate military strikes.
"It's clear that the administration has essentially given up that
possibility," he said. "I don't think it's serious any more. If you had
asked me a year ago I would have said I thought it was a real possibility. I
just don't think it's in the cards."
Israel, however, still had a determination to prevent a nuclear Iran, he
argued. The "optimal window" for strikes would be between the November 4
election and the inauguration on January 20, 2009.
"The Israelis have one eye on the calendar because of the pace at which the
Iranians are proceeding both to develop their nuclear weapons capability and
to do things like increase their defences by buying new Russian
anti-aircraft systems and further harden the nuclear installations .
"They're also obviously looking at the American election calendar. My
judgement is they would not want to do anything before our election because
there's no telling what impact it could have on the election."
But waiting for either Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate, or his
Republican opponent John McCain to be installed in the White House could
preclude military action happening for the next four years or at least delay
"An Obama victory would rule out military action by the Israelis because
they would fear the consequences given the approach Obama has taken to
foreign policy," said Mr Bolton, who was Mr Bush's ambassador to the UN from
2005 to 2006.
"With McCain they might still be looking at a delay. Given that time is on
Iran's side, I think the argument for military action is sooner rather than
later absent some other development."
The Iran policy of Mr McCain, whom Mr Bolton supports, was "much more
realistic than the Bush administration's stance".
Mr Obama has said he will open high-level talks with Iran "without
preconditions" while Mr McCain views attacking Iran as a lesser evil than
allowing Iran to become a nuclear power.
William Kristol, a prominent neo-conservative, told Fox News on Sunday that
an Obama victory could prompt Mr Bush to launch attacks against Iran. "If
the president thought John McCain was going to be the next president, he
would think it more appropriate to let the next president make that decision
than do it on his way out," he said.
Last week, Israeli jets carried out a long-range exercise over the
Mediterranean that American intelligence officials concluded was practice
for air strikes against Iran. Mohammad Ali Hosseini, spokesman for the
Iranian foreign ministry, said this was an act of "psychological warfare"
that would be futile.
"They do not have the capacity to threaten the Islamic Republic of Iran.
They [Israel] have a number of domestic crises and they want to extrapolate
it to cover others. Sometimes they come up with these empty slogans."
He added that Tehran would deliver a "devastating" response to any attack.
On Friday, Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the UN International Atomic Energy
Agency, said military action against Iran would turn the Middle East into a
"fireball" and accelerate Iran's nuclear programme.
Mr Bolton, however, dismissed such sentiments as scaremongering. "The key
point would be for the Israelis to break Iran's control over the nuclear
fuel cycle and that could be accomplished for example by destroying the
uranium conversion facility at Esfahan or the uranium enrichment facility at
"That doesn't end the problem but it buys time during which a more permanent
solution might be found.... How long? That would be hard to say. Depends on
the extent of the destruction."
Story from Telegraph News:
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